One last Isle of Wight adventure….I think.
We chose to celebrate our last day on the island, along with the insanely great weather, at another celebration: the Old Gaffers Festival in Yarmouth.
Yarmouth is a port village and home to an annual festival celebrating Gaft Rig ships, or Gaffers. The rich history of the festival was on display on pendants throughout the harbor.
Although we only spent about three hours exploring, we could have easily lasted all day if we had the time.
Between a revolving slate of live music, there were crafts, food and probably the most impressive cask beer setup I've ever seen.
For all of the times I've been to a non-beer festival and forced to choke down some fizzy lager, starring at 40 casks of real ale took my breath away.
Not only were all of the local breweries represented, but several others I had not heard of. With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next week, several of the breweries even brought out special styles, just for her.
As the smallness of the island bears out, I even ran into Jay from the Village Inn, who was running the bar. He provided us a great time at the Village Inn last week, which made it great to see him again.
So, as we wandered the endless assortment of craft booths, antique cars and street side performers, we picked up a pint and a cornish pasty. I couldn't have been more pleased.
In fact, I was so pleased, I'm still thinking about how good the damn thing was.
Although the pasty was the only thing I ate, the amount and types of food were staggering. I wasn't eating, but I was still looking.
There was definitely an international flare, with a number of different nationalities represented, each with a different take on "festival food".
Although my heart is drawn to food and beer, I took in...everything. Yes, the weather was perfect and I'm sure that played a roll, but the never ending feeling of "community" made an indelible impression.
The festival took over the town and as the time ticked by, the crowed continued to grow. I can only imagine things as day turned into night and the festive continued to rock.
It was one of those days where everyone, no matter how geographically apart, feels connected. We couldn't have asked for a better day…or, a better pint and pasty.